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June 1, 2005

Latest development in Ohio's Blakely story

I have not noted a number of recent intermediate appellate court decisions on Blakely from Ohio, because, as detailed in this Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission memo, the basic story has not changed much of late: most of Ohio's intermediate appellate courts have found Blakely largely inapplicable in Ohio, though the First District Court of Appeals has held to its view, discussed here and here, that Booker significantly altered the Blakely analysis in Ohio.  (Background on how Ohio's sentencing laws and practices make the state a Blakely bellwether, because Blakely's impact on Ohio's sentencing scheme could be extreme or extremely minor, can be found in posts here and here.)

But yesterday brought a development that merits mention: in a pair of major en banc cases — State v. Lett, Nos. 84707 & 84729, 2005-Ohio-2666 (Ohio 8th Dist. May 31, 2005) (available here) and State v. Atkins-Boozer, No. 84151, 2005-Ohio-2666 (Ohio 8th Dist. May 31, 2005) (available here) — the Eighth District Court of Appeals, "cleaned up" some disparate Blakely rulings by prior panels.  In these (lengthy) decisions, the Eighth District Court of Appeals held that Ohio's sentencing scheme largely dodges Blakely problems.  Here are parts of the interesting opening paragraphs of Lett:

In Blakely v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court held that the "statutory maximum" for sentencing purposes is the maximum sentence a judge may impose solely on the basis of the facts reflected in the jury verdict or admitted by the defendant.  Shortly after the supreme court released that opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was widely quoted as saying that the decision "looks like a No. 10 earthquake to me."  These remarks proved accurate. The application of Blakely to sentencing issues relating to the maximum, minimum and consecutive sentences under [Ohio] R.C. Chapter 2929 have now divided this court, with the result being the imminent issuance of conflicting opinions from within this appellate district....

[W]e invoked our en banc procedure, extant since 1976, to resolve preemptively the differences within this district.  In doing so, we acknowledge that the Ohio Supreme Court has certified several cases touching on the issues to be addressed herein, including one involving Lett in an unrelated case.  Nevertheless, we think it provident to resolve the conflicts within this district pro tempore until such time as the supreme court resolves these issues definitively.

As might be expected, the complexity of the issues presented in this case has left this court deeply divided.  We recognize that the orderly administration of justice is the rock upon which government rests.  More criminal cases are heard in this appellate district than in any other in this state.  Our refusal to speak on these issues, no matter how discordantly on an individual basis, would create the untenable situation where individual defendants would be sentenced differently pending the Ohio Supreme Court's decision.  All of us agree that would be an unacceptable outcome and must be avoided; hence, our agreement is to apply the law set forth in this opinion until the Ohio Supreme Court renders a final decision.

Just in case you do not have time to read nearly 100 pages of trenchant Blakely Ohio analysis from the judges of the Eighth District Court of Appeals, highlights of the decisions are provided in a helpful official court press release that is provided for downloading below.

Download ohio_8th_ca_blakely_summary.pdf

June 1, 2005 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

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Hi my boyfriend is recently incarcerated in TOCI in Toledo Ohio under a 24 year sentence. His information I have copied and pasted here to get help on his situation and his cases. If there is any advice I would greatly appriciate it. You can contact me by email or address 844 north clinton street lot c30 defiance ohio 43512. My name is Jennifer Gritton. Thanks for your time Number: A489769 Inmate Photo
DOB: 08/01/1977
Gender: Male
Race: White
Admission Date: 03/29/2005
Institution: Toledo Correctional Institution
Status: INCARCERATED
DRUG TRAFFICKING Counts: 1 ORC: 2925.03 4
Committing County: DEFIANCE Admission Date: 03/29/2005 Degree of Felony: Fourth
No Victims
NON-SUPPORT Counts: 2 ORC: 2919.21 4
Committing County: FULTON Admission Date: 11/10/2005 Degree of Felony: Fifth
Victim Info: Female Child
DRUG TRAFFICKING Counts: 1 ORC: 2925.03 4
Committing County: DEFIANCE Admission Date: 07/06/2006 Degree of Felony: Third
No Victims
DRUG TRAFFICKING Counts: 2 ORC: 2925.03 4
Committing County: DEFIANCE Admission Date: 07/06/2006 Degree of Felony: Second
No Victims
ENGAGE CORRUPT ACTS Counts: 1 ORC: 2923.32 4
Committing County: DEFIANCE Admission Date: 07/06/2006 Degree of Felony: First
No Victims

Sentence Information
Stated Prison Term: 24 years Actual Release Date:
Definite Sentence: ----
Indefinite Sentence Min: ---- FOA/TRC Date:
Indefinite Sentence Max: ---- POA Date:
Mandatory Sentence: 18 years
MDO: ---- Supervision Start Date:
RVO: ---- Period of Supervision:
Gun Specification: ---- APA Office:
Expiration Stated Sent: 03/14/2029

Latest Parole Board Hearing Month:
Latest Parole Board Hearing Type/Results:

Posted by: jennifer gritton | May 28, 2007 1:13:28 AM

Hi, I have a 17-year son that was convicted and found guilty and sentence to 23 years in prison. He was bind over from the Juvenile Courts at the age of 16 years old on October 31, 2006. He was then charged with 4 counts of aggravated robbery with gun spec and felonious assault. Then was back in September a group of kids in the neighborhood 20 or more playing and talking. These two young men 16 and 17 at the times was approach by a person dress in all black with a bandana covering his face and wearing a baseball cap. He demanded there money and cellphone.

I had hired a criminal attorney for my son and the lawyer told and promises he could take on this case. The lawyer acted as if he was more afraid of the judge. He told they did not have a plea deal or anything and that taking it to trail he can beat the case. We my son was convicted and found guilty for one of the boys and was sentence to 23years the same day they found him guilty and the lawyer told the judge to sentence him right then and there. The lawyer would not speak or return any of my calls or file any motion. I did obtain another attorney for the appeal. I need to know what I can do because my son did not deserve this harsh sentence, please give me any suggestion because I do not know what to do anymore. Please help!

My son is at Madison Correctional in London, Ohio #522186


2911.01 AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
2911.01 AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
2911.01 AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
2911.01 AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
2903.11 FELONIOUS ASSAULT

DEFENDANT IN COURT WITH COUNSEL MARTIN BAKER. PROSECUTING ATTORNEY MICHAEL P. GRAHAM PRESENT. COURT REPORTER PRESENT. THE JURY RETURNS A VERDICT OF GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED ROBBERY 2911.01 - F1 WITH FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 1 YEAR (2941.141), FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 3 YEARS (2941.145) AS CHARGED IN COUNT(S) 1, 3, 4 OF THE INDICTMENT. THE JURY RETURNS A VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED ROBBERY 2911.01 - WITH FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 1 YEAR (2941.141), FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 3 YEARS (2941.145) AS CHARGED IN COUNT(S) 2 OF THE INDICTMENT. THE JURY RETURNS A VERDICT OF GUILTY OF FELONIOUS ASSAULT 2903.11 - F2 WITH FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 1 YEAR (2941.141), FIREARM SPECIFICATION - 3 YEARS (2941.145) AS CHARGED IN COUNT(S) 5 OF THE INDICTMENT. DEFENDANT ADDRESSES THE COURT

THE COURT CONSIDERED ALL REQUIRED FACTORS OF THE LAW. THE COURT FINDS THAT PRISON IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSE OF R. C. 2929.11. THE COURT IMPOSES A PRISON SENTENCE AT THE LORAIN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OF 23 YEAR(S). (3 YEARS ON FIREARM SPECIFICATIONS TO BE SERVED PRIOR TO AND CONSECUTIVE TO 5 YEARS ON EACH OF COUNTS 1, 3, 4 AND 5. COUNT TO RUN CONSECUTIVE TO EACH OTHER FOR A TOTAL OF 23 YEARS). POST RELEASE CONTROL IS PART OF THIS PRISON SENTENCE FOR 5 YEARS FOR THE ABOVE FELONY(S) UNDER R.C.2967.28. THE DEFENDANT IS ORDERED TO PAY A FINE IN THE SUM OF $ 1,000.00. (250.00 ON EACH OF COUNTS 1, 3, 4 AND 5 FOR A TOTAL OF $1,000.00).


He was sentence to 23 years at the age of 16 years old. How can this happen? I know we have so much attention on the Jena 6 but what about the other lids in the adult system given harsh sentence….


Trina Wright
Trinaw32@att.net
2163941564


Posted by: Trina | Sep 20, 2007 12:22:14 PM

I know someone who is beign charged with aggrivated robbery in ohio. Is there a minimum sentence? What is the average sentence for a first time offender? She is a 20 yr old female college student that helped rob a bank. Thank you in advance.

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